When reviewing for an IOP journal, you will typically be asked to score the article on a number of different aspects. Individual journal guidelines may vary, so do check the journal-specific guidance here for more information. You will usually be asked to give a score between 1 and 10 (1 = very poor, 10 = excellent). The aspects you may be asked to comment on include:
- a measure of the novelty of the ideas and techniques reported in the manuscript compared to the existing literature. Articles presenting little or no new ideas or techniques should be given a low rating (1–3). Ideas or techniques that are not new but are approached in an original way should be given a medium rating (4–6). Completely original ideas, approaches to problems or experimental techniques should be given a high rating (7–10).
- Scientific rigour:
- a measure of how well the experiment has been carried out; whether all necessary details of the method and results are presented in a way that they can be reproduced; and whether the results have been appropriately analysed and discussed. (This includes the testability of any theoretical predictions or modelling.)
- a measure of the likely impact of the results presented within the article’s field. If the article presents trivial or incremental results, it should be given a low rating (1–3). Articles that do not advance the field significantly but have archival value should be given a medium rating (4–6). Articles that provide significant new insight or make an important advance in the field should be given a high rating (7–10).
- a measure of the quality of writing within the article and how well the authors have conveyed the information. Articles written in very poor or broken English, that are very difficult to follow or completely unintelligible should be given a low rating (1–3). Articles that are understandable, but would still need significant language editing should be given a medium rating (4–6). Articles that are mostly clear and complete and would only require minimal editing should be given a high rating (7–10).